News Roundup: Sept. 17


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Tom Hanks, who directed the 1996 romantic comedy That Thing You Do!, said he is quitting directing, reports. “It takes a substantial amount of time out of you. I’m still in my child rearing years and I’d like to be around a little bit more–not only physically but also mentally for my family, “he told the UK’s Radio 1 while promoting his latest film, Road to Perdition. “As soon as you say you’re going to direct a motion picture, the risks just keep piling,” he added. “The stuff of your worst nightmares, you know.”


No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani married Bush guitarist-frontman Gavin Rossdale in London Saturday. According to, the ceremony took place at St. Paul’s Church in the city’s Covent Gardens. Stefani wore a traditional white gown designed by not-so-traditional designer John Galliano, while Rossdale wore a traditional British morning suit. The couple’s Hungarian sheep dog Winston, also the guest of honor, wore pink and purple flowers. The couple plans on having a ceremony Sept. 28 in Los Angeles.

Angelina Jolie officially dropped Voight as her last name on Sept. 12, according to The Associated Press. Although her legal name was Angelina Jolie Voight, the actress is professionally known as Angelina Jolie. The Tomb Raider star has been involved in a public feud with her father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight. Jolie also petitioned to legally change the name of her son, whom she recently adopted in Cambodia, to Maddox Chivan Thornton Jolie.


Chicken Run scribe Karey Kirkpatrick will co-adapt the screenplay of Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Variety reports. Adams had penned his own feature adaptation but died last May. The project will be helmed by Austin Powers director Jay Roach, who will also serve as a producer on the project. Hitchhiker has previously been made into a radio series, TV series and video game.

With The Alamo forgotten, director Ron Howard has set his sights on The Serpent and the Eagle, the story of how Spanish conqueror Cortez flattened the Aztec nation and pilfered its wealth with the help of an Aztec princess-turned-slave, according to Variety. But Howard, who is still producing The Alamo with his Imagine partner Brian Grazer, still has not chosen his next directing project.


The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Monday that primetime TV is getting straighter. The gay activist group says the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters in lead, supporting or recurring roles on network TV has dropped from 20 last year to just seven in this coming season, Reuters reports. Among the shows featuring LGBT this fall are ER, Will & Grace, NYPD Blue, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek and the new hospital drama MDs.

Get ready for 24 Hours of Love. MTV2 will give rocker Courtney Love control of the music network for a full 24 hours starting at 8 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, the AP reports. According to the MTV2, Love will play videos, invite her friends and do whatever she pleases, including sleep. An MTV spokesman says the network will probably show snippets of her dozing.


Two years after the publication of J.K. Rowling‘s fourth Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire, there is still no word on when the fifth book will hit the stores. Originally scheduled to come out in July 2002, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. said Tuesday it was still unable to announce a date for the launch of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. Since the June 1997 publication of Rowling‘s first in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a book had been released every year. There are a total of seven books planned for the series.